Over 90 Percent Of NYC Grocery Stores Hit By Shoplifters This Year, Survey Finds: REPORT

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Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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New York City grocery stores have felt the impacts of rising crime, with 93 percent of stores claiming that they have been hit by shoplifters this year, according to the New York Post. 

A survey conducted by the National Supermarkets Association (NSA) in September was shared with the NY Post, revealing that in addition to a majority of shops being burglarized, 60 percent claimed that their stores were robbed seven days a week. (RELATED: Bodycam Video Shows Stolen Vehicle Suspect Come Under Hail Of Police Fire)

“It’s like they feel they’re licensed to shoplift now,” store owner Carlos Collado, of two Fine Fare stores in the city, told the NY Post.

Retailers within New York lost an estimated $4.4 billion in revenue within 2022 due to shoplifting alone, according to research from CapitalOne Shopping. Many store owners believe that the issue stems from the fact that the shoplifters are not arrested or prosecuted for stealing less than $1,000 worth of goods, according to the NY Post. 

“They feel there’s no consequences, and they’re making it a profession,” Collado told the NY Post.

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A group of independent grocers in New York called Collection Action to Protect Our Stores (CAPS), began to call out city lawmakers earlier this year for their lax policies that are now affecting their businesses. The CAPS group asked lawmakers to punish serial shoplifters who steal more than $1,000 worth of merchandise over time, charging them with grand larceny versus petit larceny, according to the NY Post. (RELATED: Thieves Are Stripping Shelves Bare By Planning Robberies At Delivery Times, Employees Say) 

However, New York Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul vetoed a bipartisan bill seeking to create a task force to study the recent spike in retail theft and the effect it’s had on small businesses’ earnings. 

Due to the spikes in theft, even large companies like Target have begun to implement security measures by locking up everyday items like body wash, toothpaste and deodorant, according to CNBC. Small businesses have followed suit, with 72 percent of supermarket owners in New York stating that they have increased their security measures, according to the NSA survey, but not all have seen a decrease in crime.

“We’ve implemented a security company, we all have walkie-talkies, but we still get hit with shoplifting, sometimes two, three…seven shoplifters [a day],” supermarket owner Frank Pimentel told the NY Post.

Democrat Mayor Eric Adams advocated for store owners earlier this month, establishing a task force to address the increase in shoplifting, allowing city agencies to share the data collected on crimes, according to the NY Post. The head of government relations for NSA, Nelson Eusebio, estimated there are roughly 3,000 supermarkets within the city affected by these issues, the outlet reported.